Whenever I’m overseas for an extended period of time there are two things I miss from home: First, my bed. Not only is my bed a magical cloud of subconscious bliss that houses the majority of my extensive pillow collection I also seem to end up with some of the most uncomfortable sleeping situations when overseas.
Secondly, and I only realized this on my recent trip to Indonesia, is my Microplane (more commonly referred to as a lemon-zester even though it is so much more to me).
For most recipes I can manage without my antique KitchenAid (it belonged to my grandparents for years and is the weirdest color) and even a hand mixer. Making whipped cream or meringues is a bitch by hand but it can be done. So can bread dough which gets easier the more you do it. But one thing that truly distressed me this spring was trying to make zest or finely grated anything of any kind with the warped grater or dull knives I could find in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen.
When I told my parents that if I ever went overseas for more than a month I was bringing my zester with me they laughed. Then they got a little concerned when they realized I was serious. They seem to forget that when I returned from my year in England I had brought with me the household’s favorite glass mixing bowl and The Cludgeon (as I dubbed him), who is also the best rolling pin this family has ever had the privilege of handling. I had also bought about 110 non-academically related books but carting around library loads worth of books overseas is sort of my family’s thing so I never got any grief about that. But I love my kitchen utensils and they tend to love me back.
I’m always on the look out for better kitchen equipment. Over the past couple of gift-giving holidays my parents have supplied me with some of the basic upgrades like a new whisk, rubber spatula, and of course my beloved Microplane. But over those same years there have been several “incidents” that have created the need for a few more items. For instance we have no proper spatula to speak of, the only pair of tongs is better equipped for salad than actually doing any serious work, and the wooden spoon situation… Well let’s just say it could use some improvement. And we aren’t even going to discuss the so called “knives”.
In the appliance arena we’re managing with what we’ve got. I am the master of our broken food processor and am also the resident KitchenAid Whisperer. The one thing that I’ve been wanting to add to our appliances for a long time is an ice cream maker of some sorts and I’ve decided that this is the year it will happen.
Since my project for the summer is Chocolate, one of the things on my list is to do some chocolate ice creams and gelato. Also, sorbets and ices are excellent palate cleansers/refreshers for an overly chocolate heavy event (which I hope to host at the end of the summer or early fall).
Of course, I would love, love, LOVE to have me a commercial kitchen type of unit but my conscious being what it is (and the size of my kitchen and storage being what IT is) I’m going to have to go for a much more scaled down version. Here are a list of the top contenders at this point:
While I would love to have a self-freezing unit they tend to run a lot more expensive and I’m seeing way too many negative reviews so I’ve decided to skip the drama and extra expense and go with the kin you put in your freezer. As it so happens I just recently did a complete overhaul in our freezer and it will fit my new ice cream buddy perfectly.
At this point I’m leaning towards one of the first two because if I want to take my machine to someone else’s house or an even location I really don’t want to have to bring Klunky with me. If anyone has any personal reviews or suggestions about either of those two machines please do share them. I’d like to make my decision by the end of next week so that I can get started in time for the inauguration of our new backyard furniture.